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York Schools' Special Needs Team Meet Minister

SEN team and Minister 020513

12:45pm 2nd May 2013

A nationally-recognised team of Special Educational Needs (SEN) experts from York have returned from the Houses of Parliament on Monday 29 April enthused by strong endorsement that City of York Council is ‘ahead of the game’.

Invited to make a presentation to Edward Timpson, Minister for Children and Families, the City of York Council specialists demonstrated how the council is putting policy into practice. The minister, who is leading on SEN changes, said: “We must hear more from York.”

The team spoke at an Ambitious for Autism evening event centred around new SEN legislation. Besides the minister, the 200-strong audience included John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, Members of Parliament and of the House of Lords, funding authorities, parents, young people and local authorities.

Using York’s local perspective and its award-winning work, the team answered the question: Can you deliver support and aspiration for disabled children and young people outlined in the SEN Green Paper? Referencing education, health and social care, the team gave a holistic picture of its collaborative working in York to improve outcomes for disabled children and young people and their families.

Councillor Janet Looker, Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Young People, said: “This invitation was a great opportunity for York to share best practice with other organisations and demonstrate that, despite funding cuts, we continue to be creative to ensure disabled children and their families have the best possible chances in life. Our collaborative working and aspirations for each young person indicates our resolve to keep bettering the service for them and their families.”

Jessica Haslam, City of York Council’s Interim Head of SEN said: “The invitation to Westminster endorsed the quality of our work, but most importantly, we were also able to network and share ideas with others – including SEN professionals and young people with autism. We are determined to improve our services further, we are committed to keep children, young people and families at the centre of all our planning and to make York the best place to live for families with disabled children.”

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